Magnolia finally found a way to turn off its self-destruct mode in the endgame to shock Barangay Ginebra, 102-92, Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City.
Jackson Corpuz scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half to help keep the Hotshots in the game while Chris Banchero joined hands with the team veterans in one surge after another in the second half capped by a 10-0 run that gave them a safe 102-89 spread.
As a result, Magnolia cut short a three-game slide, improved its record to 2-4 while stopping Ginebra’s four-game winning streak in the duel between the league’s two most popular ballclubs, dubbed since 2012 as the “Manila Clasico.”
Winning coach Chito Victolero was simply glad his team was able to shake off its endgame collapses, which he blamed mostly for its recent defeats.
“‘Yung three losses namin parang we feel na p’wede kaming manalo, eh. I mean, in the last two, three minutes of the game parang nawawala ‘yung mental toughness namin and that’s not our character,” said Victolero.
“Di iyon ‘yung Magnolia Hotshots basketball character” added Victolero. “Ang problema lang naming ma-finish ‘yung game. I’m very happy. Yesterday we talked and I challenged them na this is a real bounce back game na p’wede naming gawin para makabalik kami sa liga, makabalik kami kung saan gusto naming pumunta.”